Some Favorite Route 66 Photochrome Postcards

Billie Jo Trading Post
The Billie Jo Trading Post east of Albuquerque advertised CURIOS and MOCCASINS and SOUVENIRS. Indian details decorate the walls, flags fly from the parapets, and old wagon wheels and a teepee sit along the highway. Some employees or Indians are posing out front but I wish there had been some cars in the parking lot. This was another trading post that did not last after the Interstate was completed.

El Sombrero Restaurant
This postcard of the El Sombrero Restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has to be included in my favorites list because of the building's very unique round shape. The building was designed, built, and painted to appear like a giant Mexican sombrero. Even the parking spots fan out like spokes on a wheel. The El Sombrero, once at 4400 East Central, has been razed and is now a parking lot for nearby businesses.

Pinon Motel
I selected this Piñon Motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, postcard because of the Googie signboard. Most of the charm of this postcard lies in the neon sign and the colorful sky since the motel architecture is barely apparent from this sunset view. The Piñon Lodge was listed in Jack Rittenhouse's "A Guidebook to Highway 66" from 1946. The Piñon Motel is still open on Central Avenue in Albuquerque but principally for long-term rentals. The sign is still at the motel but some of the details seen here are missing from it. (Laval S-45890-1)

El Vado Motel
The El Vado Motel is probably the most famous of all the motels in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a short walk to the banks of the Rio Grande. The El Vado Court was listed in my 1939 AAA "Directory" and in Jack Rittenhouse's "A Guidebook to Highway 66" from 1946. The postcard has a secondary view of a well-decorated room interior with wooden poles ("vigas") that support the roof. (These "vigas" may have been decorative.) The El Vado was refurbished and re-purposed and it re-opened in 2018 as a smaller motel plus shops and a restaurant and even a pub.